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No. 3, February 2000
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Stray Dog, Misawa, Aomori, 1971 copyright Daido Moriyama
Japanese photography
Daido Moriyama - Stray Dog
 
Daido Mariyama was born in 1938 in Ikeda, a town outside Osaka. He chose his profession in 1961 and moved to Tokyo where he became the leading Japanese photographer. His art reflects on the clash between traditional and postwar Japan. The island was pervaded by Americanism and encountered the victory march of consumerism. This was at the same time perceived as threat and liberation. Moriyama's photographs represent Japanese Existentialism. His work is influenced by West and East, by William Klein (he saw his book New York in 1958) and Andy Warhol as well as by Yukio Mishima and Shuji Terayama. Moriyama visualizes the drama, severity and rapidity of change. His photographs are grainy, full of hard contrasts, intentionally rough, murky and quickly developed.
Moriyama's signature picture, the stray dog on the streets of Misawa (a small town in the northern Japan that hosted an American air force base), "shows the rangy outsider, a haunted figure, mysterious and powerful, familiar with his sourroundings and alien to them." Most of his pictures were made for the famous postwar photo magazine Camera Mainichi and he published his first book, Nippon Theater, in 1968.
 
The exhibition "Daido Moriyama - Stray Dog" was put together by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and organized with the Japan Society Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Folkwang Museum in Essen (Germany) and the Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland).
 

Stary Dog: Hardcover, San Francisco Museum, 1999, 160 p. Get it from Amazon.com

Shibuya, 1967 copyright Daido Moriyama

Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, Tokyo, 1995-98
copyright Takashi Homma
Japanese photography:
Takashi Homma - Tokyo Suburbia
 
Takashi Homma was born in 1962 in Tokyo where he lives and works. As the exhibition title indicates, this series of photographs portrays the suburbs of Tokyo. Especially his works showing neat houses and empty streets have a hard and hopeless tone. Homma portrays - with a certain distance - the dark side of the economic success that leaves little room for the realization of individual dreams in cold and sterile suburbs. He shows no people in this series of photos.
 
Since 1992, Homma has published his works in magazines like Switch and Elle-Deco (Tokyo), Purple Prose and Purple Fashion (Paris). Among his previous publications are: Baby Land, Little More, Tokyo, 1995; Tokyo Suburbia, Korinsha Press, Kyoto, 1997; Manga Camera, Rockin'on, Tokyo (a special issue of H magazine), 1999.
 
Fotomuseum Winterthur: January 29 - March 26, 2000.

www.cosmopolis.ch
No. 3, February 2000
current edition & archives
Art  Film  Music  History  Politics  All Previous Articles
Links  For Advertisers  Feedback  German edition  Travel

Copyright 2000  www.cosmopolis.ch  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.